HC directs Cardinal Alencherry to appear in person in illegal land deal case

Cardinal Mar George Alencherry / Photo: G. Sivaprasad/ Mathrubhumi

Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Wednesday directed Cardinal George Alencherry, the Major Archbishop of Syro-Malabar Church, for a physical appearance before a magistrate court in an illegal land deal case.

Cardinal George Alencherry, who went to the High Court to review a petition filed against him in a magistrate court, has been ordered to appear in person before the Magistrate Court, Kakkanad in a case relating to the illegal sale of land belonging to the Church.

The case pertains to April 2019, when a criminal case against Cardinal Alenchery was registered by the Judicial First Class Magistrate Court in Kakkanad, following a complaint filed by Joshy Varghese, a Perumbavoor native, claiming that properties in Kakkanad sold by the Cardinal caused financial losses to the Church.

The High Court dismissed a total of seven petitions filed by the cardinal to quash the cases.

On August 12, while rejecting a petition, filed by Alencherry, the court said that it is upholding the verdict of the District Sessions Court.

The case is that the diocese had incurred a loss of lakhs of rupees by selling 60 cents of land owned by Alenchery, the archdiocese of Ernakulam-Angamaly and the land dealing was done without consulting various committees of the church.

Earlier, the Thrikkakara magistrate court registered a case against Alencherry and others and summoned them to appear for the trial. However, this was challenged by Alencherry but the appeal was rejected. Both courts observed that there is prima facie evidence that Alencherry is involved in the illegal land deal.

In July this year, the State Government submitted to the Supreme Court that no illegal activities occurred as part of the transaction of the land deal. (ANI)

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